Is Double Jumping Physically Possible? (Because Science w/ Kyle Hill)

– If you’ve played video games at all, then you probably know the tropes. Get enough coins and
you get an extra life. Bad guys always leave red barrels around filled with exploding juice. And sometimes your character can jump and then jump again. But is double jumping physically possible? Let’s find out. A number of classic games
feature double jumping, but here is Super Smash
Brothers to demonstrate. Double jumping is when a character jumps and at the apex of
their jump, jumps again. They move and yet they are
pushing on nothing but air. How? Many of you have asked me
this question over the years, so let’s jump right into it (laughs). Obviously, in the course of everyday life, you can’t double jump. You can prove this to yourself
if you just (screams). It’s brick. Of course it would hurt. How does he– Like I said, you can try to, you can try to, you can try to double jump, but that effort is wasted. That’s because of what a jump is. When you jump, your legs
apply a force to the ground. And because Newton’s laws state that there’s an equal
and opposite reaction for every action, when your legs provide
a force on the ground, the ground provides a force on you. This force accelerates your
mass, and you jump upwards. So what is a double jump
then in these terms? Well, you jump into the air, and then, once in the air, you press down or attempt to on the air. But the air has so little
mass, it can only provide a very small reactionary force, a force so small that it doesn’t
accelerate your mass enough to give you an extra boost up. Again, you can– Again, you can prove this to yourself. Oh, extra life. Another way to prove that the classic form of the double jump isn’t really possible is to
remove gravity altogether. Destin over at SmarterEveryDay actually got to ask
astronauts whether or not a cat’s aerial righting
reflex worked in outer space. And you can see astronaut
Tom Marshburn here trying to move his body. He can rotate it, but he can’t give it any
velocity in any direction. That wouldn’t be the case if
you could push off the air like a double jump. In fact, if you could push off
the air like a double jump, then humans could fly. And obviously, that’s not the case. While it’s theoretically possible to kick air away from you so fast that you get an extra upward boost, I also think that’s
the least plausible way of doing a double jump. How else could we do it? How dense are you? Are you full of pasta and fazool? What’s fazool? The conservation of momentum
is a fundamental law in physics that states that momentum, which is a product of mass
and velocity of a system, does not change overall unless
acted on by an outside force. For example, if I were to– If I were to jump into this block, the momentum that I have before I hit it has to equal my momentum after I hit it plus the momentum that I give the block. Because our masses don’t change, I get slowed down, it gets sped up, and then momentum’s conserved. Dude, how? How do you do that? I think that we can use the
conservation of momentum to enable a different kind of double jump. Here’s a riddle my fantastic
eighth grade science teacher Mr. D gave me once. If you have a great science
teacher, you should tell them. Imagine that you are sat in
the middle of a frozen pond, right on the ice. The ice is totally frictionless. How do you get back to shore? I’ll give you a second. Oh, Charles is gonna love it. The solution is to use the
conservation of momentum. You’re stuck in the middle of the pond, and you can’t change your velocity because of the lack of
friction, so change your mass. If you took off maybe your boot and threw it in one direction, you would lose mass. And because you lose mass but
momentum has to be conserved, you are going to get momentum. But your initial momentum was zero, so now you get momentum that’s negative, which is pointing in
the opposite direction. Because the ice is frictionless, even that little bit of velocity throwing your boot away from you gave you, you get back to shore. Problem solved. What if we solved the double jump problem like we solved the pond problem, by throwing your clothes away? Oh okay, that’s where we’re going. It looks like most double jumps start at the apex of the first jump, where the initial upwards
velocity is finally completely canceled out by gravity. Because a greater change in momentum would come from changing
your mass as much as you can, at this point, you’d want to
throw all of your clothes, all of them. Oh, oh, why did I do it like this? Then, if you set up the equation, you can find out how
fast you’d have to throw all of your clothes away
from your naked body to get an additional upward boost. Time to add some numbers. I found a study that says the
average person wears around a kilogram of clothes, and if the average person
weighs around 62 kilograms and we want a boost at
the apex of our jump to be like a normal jump, maybe an upwards velocity
of three meters per second, then if you jumped, waited ’til the apex, got naked mid-air, and then threw all of your
clothes down directly below you at 150 meters per second,
around 350 miles per hour, you would get a second boost. You would double jump. Oh, it touched me. So, could you ever double jump? Well, not quite like a
classic video game character. If you had to push down
on the air with your legs, you’d have to do it so hard and so fast, you’d probably rip your legs off. A much more plausible, though
still pretty hard option, would be to jump and
at the apex, get naked and throw your clothes down below you faster than anyone’s thrown anything. Impractical, sure, but still possible. Hey, get creative with it. Bring a rocket launcher and then fire your clothes down for you. Technically, it would work, and it would be another video game trope that we just confirmed. Because Science. That was a bad one. I’m still in frame, bye. Thank you so much for watching, George. Make sure to follow me
on Twitter @Sci_Phile where you can suggest ideas for future episodes like this one and on Instagram under the same handle where I’m now posting mini-episodes. And if you want more
silliness, check out Muskwatch. And if you want higher
quality science stuff, check out the S.P.A.A.C.E.
Program also with me. Thanks. Yes, I know it’s physically impossible to both kick air so fast
that you double jump and throw clothes at 350 miles an hour, but it is more practical to throw objects and use the conservation of
momentum than it is to kick air. Hey, did you know that
Yoshi has a full name like a dinosaur? It’s Yoshi T. Munchakoopas. Oh, Yoshisaur T. Munchakoopas.


  1. Nerdist

    August 3, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Could you rocket-jump with an actual rocket launcher? NEW mini-ep over on my Insta ( Thanks for watching! — KH


    July 15, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Mario uses his FIST to destroy bricks, not his head. <sigh>

  3. Overwatch Elite

    July 16, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Try, and just like mario

  4. Francisco Cancel

    July 16, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    You sounded like consuela oh no! Lol

  5. Amy Carter

    July 21, 2019 at 2:23 am

    One thing about the air mass:
    The amount of mass depends on pressure, how much air is between you and the ground, base elevation, among other factors. Fact is, multi-jumping is not impossible, but using just air to push upward is kinda dumb if I'm to be honest, since there's the post-jump fall that is inevitable, and unless you've something you're jumping up to, that will catch the majority of your fall, your 'friend' terminal velocity is going to come and give ya a wedgie in the form of splatting the ground.
    I perform multi-jumps in my athletics training, but I do not use air pockets, I use minimally interactive objects and keep myself in motion, thus also not transferring kinetic energy as much. Yeah, it's a very risky prospect because ONE WRONG MOVE AND I CAN EASILY CAUSE MYSELF SOME VERY SERIOUS HARM. I remember going from wall jump-climbing (ascending wall jumps in quick succession), to a wall-hang flip, and I ended up slamming my back against the wall. I was still getting used to very technical jumping techniques so I hadn't quite the skill in canceling inertia at the time, so I did a number on myself, my grip slipped, and in a very short amount of time, I injured myself in the exact same place twice. Not a good training session. I was down, and out, having to crawl back to the campus for aid. It sucked, no two ways about it. I also was spewing vulgarities at my ineptitude like a seafaring fool.

    I did get the hang of the technique eventually though, so this did end well.

  6. Nicolas Leone

    July 21, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Start naked w large rock and throw rock at ground w force of god

  7. Markus Kuhlman

    July 22, 2019 at 5:20 am

    If there was enough humidity in the air could you have your feet skip on the water in the air

  8. Cherub

    July 25, 2019 at 9:26 am

    If you refering to quake series with the rocket launcher, its actually the rocket explosion that throws you in the air, not the momentum. at least that's how quake game was built.

  9. ronswasonbutcuter

    July 27, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Seems like you had a rough time keeping it together for this one haha

  10. Jackson Franke

    August 1, 2019 at 3:31 am

    Hey Kyle, love the videos! Also, could you do a video on how long the human torch could stay on fire, and where he gets the energy to light himself from?

  11. Daniel Byrne

    August 3, 2019 at 7:55 pm


  12. Gamer18

    August 5, 2019 at 4:36 am

    they make it look so easy in far cry new dawn

  13. Alexander McCalla

    August 5, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    What would it have taken for our ancestors to have evolved and developed wings? Floating currency?

  14. Jamie Griffiths

    August 6, 2019 at 7:08 am

    Have you seen Austins take on this? It is really interesting and you might get a laugh or two!

  15. ToastCz

    August 6, 2019 at 7:26 am

    Just jump then put right leg on left leg then jump again

  16. Charles Stebbins

    August 6, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Double jump = imposable. Wall jump = very possible.

  17. JT GUY

    August 7, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    Can the flash double jump?

  18. Nicholas LaRock

    August 10, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    But….. you didn't do the math for actually pushing down against the air with your legs.

  19. Darealshard12 12

    August 11, 2019 at 3:15 am

    You sound more like Consuela

  20. Daniel Hammer

    August 14, 2019 at 12:37 pm

    it looks like you've been dissected 😀

  21. wes wells

    August 14, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    You could use grav jump boosters like on rage 2 😏😁

  22. wes wells

    August 14, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    Kyle on borderlands 2 if you jump and fire a rocket launcher at the ground it does boost you upwards.

  23. gabivantop_handsome embangcastro

    August 17, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Action and reaction

  24. Yukinne Kobayashi

    August 21, 2019 at 12:23 am

    What if i jumped like shaggy when he jumped off from rock to rock?

  25. ShadowGamez88

    August 22, 2019 at 2:16 am

    What if you used something to pull air underneath you?

  26. SavageVIX 4

    August 24, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    This guy trying to be funny is making the video lame

  27. Chris p

    August 28, 2019 at 8:44 pm

    if you had a exo suit like in cod where you get a boost from a jet pack then yes.

  28. Marisa Conditi

    September 2, 2019 at 6:11 am


  29. Shiba inu Master

    September 6, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    You can jump and then stray your domenant leg forward and the second leg back, and ypu will go forward. Thats not a full jump but its still awesome

  30. Deathboy17

    September 8, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    1:00 Mario may actually be punching the bricks, not hitting them eith his head. Look closely at the animation, he brings his hand up while he jumps.

  31. C & C Miller

    September 9, 2019 at 1:40 am

    Yes. Just pick scout.

  32. Imaran

    September 9, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Was here because of my Demon Hunter in World of Warcraft.

  33. Asher Dossetter

    September 9, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    I think double jumping is possible in real life with the use of a trampoline.

  34. Joseph Cirrincone

    September 9, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Dante's double jump from the Devil May Cry franchise works by Dante creating a platform made of demonic energy and leaps off of that

  35. Carlos Menem

    September 11, 2019 at 6:27 am

    what about dmc double jump?

  36. DOTLD

    September 15, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Ive always taken Jak's double jump as a technique cause he picks his legs up and sort of reaches his torso up really fast into the second 'jump'. Idk the way Jak does just the double jump  in his games seems the most physics based

  37. DouglassRobert

    September 15, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    1:58 Toasty!

  38. INCURSIO Gaming

    September 17, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Titan fall 2?

  39. That Guy Levi

    September 28, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    When you see someone lift their legs quickly while mid-jump, they are basically giving themself a little boost.

  40. crazypantaloons

    October 2, 2019 at 4:56 am

    Mario isn't double jumping. He is jumping so hard initially he creates a micro-wormhole. His feet can still reach the ground, so he jumps twice.

  41. Tyler S

    October 6, 2019 at 1:50 am

    For the taking off your clothes part get the clothes you can rip off and through

  42. Bobby Hill

    October 11, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    Mario punches the blocks you idiot but Luigi doesn't so you're still good I mean Brenda but you know

  43. Charles Ning

    October 12, 2019 at 1:36 am

    Just blow on the air if there is no friction

  44. jacob duhigg

    October 19, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    hold something heavy and then jump once your in the air drop? the object maybe u could double jump then?

  45. Deniel Martin

    October 21, 2019 at 6:26 am

    Why not do it in more denser or higher pressure atmosphere just question

  46. Cameron Gray

    October 21, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Ok this is gonna sound really dumb but one time when I was a kid I think about 8 I was playing on my new trampoline. And I was thinking about my Scooby doo game where the characters could double jump I thought it was so cool. And as I was imagining shaggy double jump I swear to god I jumped on the trampoline and at the max height just before I fell I just naturally jumped off the air. I went so high and my heart skipped a beat and I fell back onto the trampoline nearly being launched into the side netting from falling from so high. I tried time and time again to recreate the double jump but I never did it again. I know it sounds dumb but I swear on my life I did a double jump. I remember it so vividly. It is one of the few memories I remember super clearly from when I was a kid. I just jumped in the air as if there was a little invisible mini tramp floating there. I will never forget that feeling and I know at the age I am now that it is “impossible” and the science shows it’s essentially Impossible but my mind believes with every inch I did a double jump. I can still remember exactly what it felt like.
    Anyway that’s my story even though no one will believe me so yeah

  47. Agent Killer

    October 22, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Let's JUMP right into it

  48. RenzXVI

    October 23, 2019 at 2:23 am

    Chuck Noris doesn't push himself up when he jumps, he pushes the planet down.

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